Cross posted from IanPJ on Politics:
"Politics is a constant battle to win the hearts and minds of the voters, a never ending, never ceasing struggle. Yet today’s politics are not the traditional politics of Britain at all, they are foreign to us, alien to our culture. We find that the posturing of all three main parties are near identical, opposition and counter policies are little more than superficial arguments over application of the same agenda rather than substantive difference, with the core British ideal of individual freedom and liberty being swamped and lost under mountains of ‘progressive’ utopian ideals.To which I have to ask: communism/European Union - and the difference is? With the present Coalition we are slowly being conditioned by them to accept 'elected dictatorship' - oxymoron I know - leading to total submission of EU governance.
Progressive politics is nothing short of socialism, it is Communitarianism, the groupthink for the centralised planning of society, that the individual must succumb to the needs of ‘the community’, with the rules and ‘societal needs’ of these civil communities devised and developed in Whitehall, Brussels and the UN, not by the people who populate them.
It has long been established in the UK that our rights and liberties are founded in Common Law upon the freedom of the individual, it is guaranteed in our constitution, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights 1688 and the Acts of Union 1701 & 1703, that we are free to do as we wish unless we are specifically, with good reason under Common Law, prohibited from doing so. It was also long established that all Statutes must comply with Common Law, that these rights may not be usurped by statutes in parliament.
However, the last 30 years has seen monumental changes to that establishment and we find ourselves today in an almost Germanic cultural situation where you may not do anything unless you have gained permission, where the majority of statutes no longer comply, but act to undermine our Common Law replacing it with the law of Corpus Juris. I will refer yet again to my evening quiz question to let you ponder that statement.
The Progressives follow their communitarian manual to the letter, promoting the idea that the State owns your rights and liberties rather than you, that it is within their office to permit or deny you anything, that rights have been downgraded to mere entitlements and they must be linked to state regulated responsibilities. A right is no longer a right when you must obtain permission, it is simply an entitlement. We are no longer governed, we are ruled and that follows right through the politics of today, Communitarianism.
The idea of localism, whilst lauded by both Communitarians and Libertarians, have very different meanings for both. For Libertarians it means that those individuals who make up their local communities can if they so wish, associate, scheme, plan or club together to enhance the space they live in, form teams for darts, football or unique local sports, to have their own unique local businesses, industries and agriculture, its how communities have grown up and developed over the centuries, its why every town and village had its own peculiarities, its own architecture, its own uniqueness. If you like its why Melton Mowbray produces different pies to Cornwall.
But today, Communitarians see sameness as the way forward. The same industrial parks, the same high street, the same shopping mall, with the same shops and the same produce, because it is all based on that central control over labour, production, distribution and regulation, where individualism and entrepreneurs if not scorned are grudgingly tollerated, its a form of soft communism. This from the Communitarian Network:
Recent years have seen a rediscovery across the political spectrum of the importance of civil society. The increasing interest in the delivery of social services by nonprofit and faith-based organizations, the growing recognition of the special capacities of churches and faith-based groups in addressing such problems as juvenile crime, the increasing exploration of partnership arrangements between government agencies and nongovernmental groups–all point toward a new and promising communitarian approach to solving our deepest social problems. One of the key developments of the 1990s has been the reactivation of the community as a powerful “third force” in shaping the destiny of our citizens.There lies the rub, ‘shaping the destiny of our citizens’. Not because you want to, but because they will make it your responsibility to do so. That top down approach completely ignoring that it is individuals who make communities, individuals coming together to help each other, build a wall or fence at the community centre, fixing the gutters on the church roof, or organising some Christmas help for the elderly or any other function that they wish to organise or participate in, voluntarily. In fact they have almost made it impossible to act in this way, regulation and H&S dictate that you may only used qualified and approved labour to do many things which the inhabitants of villages, towns or suburbs would regularly do together. Rather it is communities dictating how individuals must conform to the state idea of what community is, run by approved ‘community leaders’, it is the modern take on a local soviet.
“Communitarians conceive of society as a three-legged stool, held up by the forces of the state, the market and the community. They are sceptical of the rights-oriented, legalistic, interest-group politics of the liberal state. A precursor to the ‘third way’ movements of recent years, communitarians want to ‘leapfrog the old debate between left and right and focus on the role of the community, culture, and virtues rather than on either the private sector or the government,” – Amitai Etzioni (The Everything Expert by Robert S. Boynton, June 26, 2003).So don’t be surprised when this Coalition government tries to sell you the idea of localism, they are not giving up control over your lives, they are simply moving that power to a more local level. Those rights and liberties that correctly belong to you to decide how your life works, how local services work, how and where you will participate are not being returned to you, but to more unelected, state approved, ‘community leaders’, who will spell out your responsibilities for you.
“The programme is the foundation upon which everything else is built, including in time our exact organisational forms and constantly shifting tactics. The programme links our continuous and what should be all-encompassing agitational work with our ultimate aim of a communitarian, or communist, system. Our programme thus establishes the basis for agreed action and is the lodestar, the point of reference, around which the voluntary unity of the Socialist Alliance is built and concretised. Put another way, the programme represents the dialectical unity between theory and practice.”Today, the only difference between Labour, LibDem and Conservative politicians is the colour of their rosettes, and the PR ability to sell the same products in a different way. I never thought I would live to see the day when a Conservative led government would sell communism to the people, but that day is here."
Towards a common Socialist Alliance programme, Weekly Worker 368, January 25 2001